Summary: Looking at the angels to see the birth of Christ.
December 12, 2010
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
A delivery truck driver was driving his truck down the street. But there was something strange about this driver. Every time he came to a stop light, he jumped out and repeatedly beat the side of his truck with a huge baseball bat. Someone pulled up beside this unusual driver and asked, “Why are you beating the truck with a bat every time you stop?” The driver said, “It’s like this. I have a two-ton truck, but I’m delivering four tons of canaries. I have to keep two tons of canaries in the air at all times!”
Do you ever feel like you’re trying to carry four tons of worries on your two-ton life? If you haven’t noticed, there is plenty of reason to worry these days.
Globally - rogue world leaders, wars, the constant threat of terrorism, economic
Nationally and locally - a shaky economy, unemployment, rising cost of health
care, uncertainty about the future.
Personally - we face the daily grind and pressures of life in a sinful world which can seem unjust and unfair..
Sometimes it feels like we’re trying to carry four tons of worries on a two-ton life!
Facing this kind of landscape can turn a happy go lucky optimist into a cynic. After a while,
the glass starts to look half empty
Every silver lining has a dark cloud and
the pot at the end of the rainbow has a hole in it.
There’s a lot to worry about in our world this Christmas. But can the coming of Christ into our world and into our lives make anything different? Can the advent of our Jesus somehow lighten our worry load?
This is where The Greatest Story Ever Told can help us. Last week, we learned the birth of Christ should not have been a surprise to anyone. It was predicted throughout the Old Testament, and the birth and even suffering of Jesus was vividly described by the prophet Isaiah.
Today we learn it was also announced by the angels.
Have you ever listened carefully to the angelic announcement? This is an important announcement, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by four tons of worries! So, what’s the message for us which the angels announced?
Announcement #1: Release
The angel told the shepherds, Do not be afraid.
That’s easier said than done. If you have ever been afraid, you know it doesn’t help very much when someone says, “Don’t be afraid.” But if an angel of the Lord says, “Don’t be afraid!” it carries a lot more weight. Angels in the Bible often serve as God’s messengers.
So when you hear from one of God’s angels, you’re hearing from God.
This means the “don’t be afraid” message is really coming from God himself. Have you ever considered that?
A woman went to see her doctor and he asked her to describe her problem. She began to list all her fears. Finally, he gave her a 3x5 card and said, “Write down your three biggest fears so we can start working on them first.” After a few minutes he returned and looked at the card. It read, “My past, my present and my future!”
This Christmas we don’t have to be afraid, regardless of the circumstances around us. God has everything in control: past, present and future. Therefore, we can release our fears to him.
The first message announced by the angels is a powerful reminder that we have been released by God. We now have the ability to soar, we’re free, released, and if we’re willing, and if we really believe that we don’t have to be afraid, then the power of God becomes real to us and real to others. We can then soar like an eagle.
The 2nd announcement is the call for us to Rejoice
The angel said, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Don’t you love it when you receive good news?